The Internet has given each and every one of us the power to connect with others, find countless outlets for creativity, enjoy unlimited amount of entertainment, conduct business, and oh-so much more. We’re at a point where we’re embracing elements of the cyberpunk culture through this idea of a high-tech, low-life lifestyle in which we may not need a lot of physical items as long as we have the tools to access the World’s information through the Web.
This is, in no way, going to be a history lesson but I’d like to take you through some of the pivotal points of the Web that has changed the way we’ve become due in part to the Net.
Social Media has always been around in one form or another as long as there was a way to communicate to others over the Net. Prior to what we have now with the endless amount of messenger apps, video conferencing, and dozens of high-profile social platforms we had simpler options such as Usernets and BBSs. Shift in how we wanted to communicate continued to progress social media into messenger services and many other outlets that have a long, rich history.
Social media has always been an excellent way to discover new interests, engage in conversations with people of all over, share information, conduct business, self-promotion, comedy, and more. Information may be the backbone of the Internet but social is what attracts the majority of us wanting to go online.
Online Gaming contributes to the widespread adoption of the Web, too. While businesses were trying to make themselves found online there were already established communities for the sole sake of developing, distributing, and playing games with others. PC and some early home entertainment systems were able to access online play but a big shift came during online integration in systems such as the PS2, Dreamcast, and Xbox; now your console gamer could enjoy online play with others, which in turn, drove them to use more of the Web to interact with other players via gaming sites, forums, online chat, and more.
Like so many drivers of industries, the want for gambling was ever present, which is why there are many great sites for seasoned online gamblers wanting to have fun or go pro. Games people have come to know and love like slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker are now offered through digital means with real-world payouts. Curation sites help those wanting to scratch their itch for gambling by collecting the best strategies and software; this forward thinking has led to a wide acceptance of online gambling.
Streaming Video is the 800 pound gorilla in the room for the telecoms. Standard broadcasting and cable may take quite some time to make a change (believe me – they are going to resist as hard as they can) but people have spoken and they want streaming options. Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo, P2P streams, online sports, Twitch, YouTube, and whatever you desire is out there in a-la-carte format. We, the people, now have control on what entertainment we desire when it comes to our schedule and taste. We’re no longer locked down to a predetermined schedule.
The fact that we have so many options and can pick-and-choose as we please has created mass communities dedicated to finding and sharing interesting video finds, holding binge watching parties, hopping on social media to chat while shows are in motion, and really create this sense that we are all watching something together rather than vegging out on the couch alone with your box.
It’s interesting to see how the web has evolved. It’s much like how they ask “does art imitate life or life imitate art?” – did we imagine the Internet to have such an immense impact on our social lives, entertainment, and creativity or was it always there and it only took time for it to come to fruition? All I know is that there’s no going back and it’ll only get better. We may be enclosing ourselves in the physical world but trading it off with unlimited opportunities found on the net.
How has the Internet changed your life?